By James Robinson & Marc Laming
Here we go again with another string of big event crossovers. By and large, these tie-ins feel forced and rushed. On occasion, you might find a few good ones. Thankfully, All-New Invaders #6 is at least a decent story.
We all love Cap and Bucky. Heck, even Namor is a loveable douche. Here’s the thing, though: none of those guys are in this issue, except for being in the background of a few flashbacks. This story revolves around Jim Hammond, the original Human Torch, and since Robinson has been writing his butt off and making Hammond a very interesting character, that’s a good thing.
After the Watcher’s eye sent out a psychic blast or whatever the heck happened in Original Sin, Ryoko Sabuki (super powered celebrity and granddaughter of the golden age Golden Girl) receives vague visions of a terrible atrocity committed on Japan at the hands of the Invaders during World War II. This causes her to take a building full of SHIELD agents hostage and demand a confrontation with the Invaders. Hammond (now working for SHIELD) is the only Invader available and agrees to smooth things over and offer a smooth exchange for the hostages.
Robinson uses the ridiculousness of Original Sin as a device to tell his story of these seemingly immortal warriors. Jim Hammond is obviously Robinson’s little pet project and that’s probably for the best. The other guys have been fleshed out in other books time and time again for several years. We know why we care about Cap and Winter Soldier, now we need to know why we should care about a slightly lesser-used character.
Marc Laming takes the reigns from series regular Steve Pugh and it’s business-as-usual. With similar styles, the art hardly skips a beat. Laming’s facial expressions are typically more detailed and the backgrounds have a life of their own. If the previous artist didn’t turn you off to the series, then you should be fine.
Tie-in or not, Robinson and new artist Marc Laming keep this train rolling. Seeing Hammond in different scenarios and growing as a character looks to be a growing charm of the series. For now, he’s the star of the show and at this point and any other team member’s appearance is just a bonus.